Repeal tax exemption – At a time when public schools, roads, universities, health clinics and pensions are underfunded, the remedy to the state’s budget problems simply can’t be deeper cuts. Kansas desperately needs more revenue. The first step is the closure of the LLC loophole. The elimination of income taxes for 330,000 self-employed Kansans has not been the engine of economic growth Gov. Sam Brownback anticipated, and it costs the state $250 million in annual revenue.
The Republican-dominated Legislature better find the backbone to act, if only to try to save their skins in an election year. The members must seize their opportunity to tell Gov. Sam Brownback that enough is enough, that his “experiment” of lower income taxes has been an utter failure. Repeal that special tax break for businesses and farmers.
Selling off future – Despite all the bad decisions that the Legislature has made to provide cover for the governor’s economic policies − cutting important programs, shorting pension payments, borrowing from and bonding highway funds, to name a few − there’s an even more destructive and reprehensible maneuver on the table: Selling off future tobacco settlement payments for a one-time lump sum payment to raise cash now. There is absolutely nothing conservative about a plan to sell off future income for a smaller payout today. Nothing.
Protecting court – Prompted by Gov. Brownback and lawmakers dissatisfied by the Supreme Court’s rulings on school finance, some conservative activists want to remove four justices. The majority of Kansans who support the court will have a challenge. They need to remember to mark “yes” for retention of these four justices when the down-ballot questions come up. If too many voters ignore the retention questions, opponents of the court could prevail, and there could be a power grab of the judicial branch by the governor and his minions.
Kobach, Trump – Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is touting that he counseled GOP presidential contender Donald Trump’s campaign on how to make Mexico pay for a border wall with the United States. It’s a ridiculous idea, another example of Kobach’s misguided advice, which he doles out to gullible governments far too much.